Champions League - Bayern triumph has origins in bitter 2012 defeat

Bayern Munich's shock 2012 Champions League defeat in Munich was a dark chapter in the club's history but it sowed the seeds for their fifth European triumph at Wembley stadium on Saturday.

Reuters
Champions League - Bayern triumph has origins in bitter 2012 defeat
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Heynckes & Schweinsteiger

Bayern grabbed a dramatic 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund with an 89th-minute winner from Dutchman Arjen Robben to clinch their first European Cup since 2001 after losing both the 2010 and 2012 finals.

It could not have been a more fitting finale to a dominant European season for Bayern, who were desperate to shake off the losers tag after the recent final defeats, including last year's loss in Munich to Chelsea.

Bayern had taken the lead in the 83rd minute and thought they had done enough to win the trophy, only to see Chelsea snatch an 88th-minute equaliser and take the title on penalties.

Few teams at this level would have been able to bounce back from such a bitter defeat in front of a home crowd, let alone do it the very next season.

But Bayern were determined to climb back up and Germany's richest club laid the foundations for Saturday's victory during the summer of 2012.

They brought in solid Brazil defender Dante as well as holding midfielder Javi Martinez for a Bundesliga record 40 million euros.

A leaky defence had been their Achilles heel in the past few years and the new players plugged that hole in style as Bayern went on the clinch the Bundesliga title, their first silverware of any kind since 2010, conceding just 18 goals in the entire league season.

Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic proved to be another golden transfer as he scored his way to a permanent starting spot ahead of former Bundesliga top scorer Mario Gomez.

Bayern also signed Matthias Sammer as sports director and the former European champion with Germany brought in a winning personality coupled with a dogged determination that his predecessor Christian Nerlinger was lacking.

Sammer combined perfectly with 68-year-old manager Jupp Heynckes to launch a record-breaking season in Germany and take the team all the way in Europe.

Against Dortmund, their Bundesliga rivals who won the 2011 and 2012 German league title, Bayern showed they had matured.

They did not lose faith when Dortmund made a superb start and twice threatened in the opening minutes.

Bayern kept working even after their lead through Mandzukic on the hour was cancelled out by Ilkay Guendogan's spot-kick eight minutes later.

Whereas they ran out of gas towards the end in both the 2010 and the 2012 Champions League finals, the Bavarians never stopped pressing and finished the game stronger than their opponents.

Even after Thomas Mueller's effort was cleared on the line and Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller made two spectacular late saves, Bayern pushed on.

It was equally fitting for Robben to score the winner after he had missed a penalty in last season's final and was branded by many as being unable to win a major trophy with either club or country.

Robben, just like the Bayern team of 2013, proved them all wrong.

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